If you’re visiting London at Christmas, there’s bound to be one important question on your mind – and that’s finding out whether or not you’ll get the chance to see the big man himself.
Luckily, with London’s splendid festive celebrations across the capital, there will be plenty of opportunities available to meet Father Christmas in the city. Special grottoes in some of the cosiest nooks in London provide you with the perfect place to introduce younger children to the magic of the season, while you might also enjoy some more impromptu encounters with Santa elsewhere in the city.
With great deals on stays at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, plan your perfect festive stay, and read on to find out where you can meet Father Christmas during your visit.
Hyde Park – Winter Wonderland
If you’re staying at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, then the best news is that Santa isn’t far from you at all. The fantastic Winter Wonderland takes over Hyde Park throughout December until January, and the spectacular festive takeover has its very own Father Christmas-themed corner, that celebrates the season in unbeatable style.
It’s advisable to stock up on breakfast Around Paddington before you head out, as the huge array of rides and activities will mean you’ll need plenty of energy to make the most of it. With family-friendly rides, market stalls and plenty of other attractions, you’ll be hard pressed to find a quiet moment here.
Once you’re ready to meet Father Christmas, head into the magical Grotto, for a truly memorable experience. There’s no need to book, so you can wait in line and hope to meet him on the day. However be prepared that Santa does get busy, and it can sometimes mean a lengthy wait. If you, or your children, are struggling to stay patient, then it’s worth getting in early at the start of the day, to make sure that you’re not left disappointed.
Hamley’s Toy Store
Hamley’s is London’s oldest and biggest toy store, with seven spectacular floors of fun to explore. It’s only fitting that Father Christmas will be settling in for the season here, with a fantastic range of toys to find the perfect gift for every child. Located in central London, Hamley’s is easy to get to from the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, and a perfect place to visit during the festive period.
Hamley’s will be hosting a Santa’s Grotto Workshop, where you can take part in all kinds of great festivities, suitable for the whole family. You’ll get to meet his charming elves, play games and discover how he makes his toys, as well as have the chance to say hello to the man himself, to get a memorable portrait together.
To take part in Hamley’s grotto experience, you’ll need to book ahead. Be warned that the popular store is always in high demand, so make sure that you book ahead of time, to avoid little ones’ from being let down or missing out.
The Royal Albert Hall
This Christmas, Father Christmas will be visiting the historic building of the Royal Albert Hall, to take part in a theatrical walk around event to bring the festive holiday to life in a memorable and unique way.
Taking place throughout December, the special show will be on throughout the day, making it a great start to your Christmas adventure in London after having a filling breakfast Around Paddington.
The fun, festive celebration transport children into the wonderful world of the North Pole, where stories from the past are brought to life with music and puppetry, lively workshops where they can learn to make their own toy alongside Father Christmas’s industrious helpers, sing songs and get to meet some elves. Afterwards, there’ll be a chance to meet Father Christmas himself, for a spectacular end to the performance. Children also get to receive a special gift, so let them know they’ll be in for a special surprise.
Christmas at ZSL London Zoo
The London Zoo is always a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year, but at Christmas, the sprinkle of seasonal sparkle adds a whole new level of fun. Exploring the historic site of the zoo and meet its many famous inhabitants as you wander around the illuminated pathway.
As well as a great day out at the zoo, there will also be an extra special treat in store, with a guest appearance from Father Christmas. Afterwards, you can soak up the festive atmosphere with a screening of a festive classic movie while relaxing on comfortable bean-bags, or trying out festive crafts and storytelling, with Mrs Santa. With magic in the air, it’s the perfect place for a memorable day out in the city.
Santa’s Grotto at Westfield
If you still need to get on top of your own Christmas gift list and want to squeeze in a cameo from Santa Claus along the way, London’s fantastic Westfield Shopping Centre is the perfect place to do it. With a great array of stores under its roof, you’ll be able to find the ideal gift for everyone – from luxury perfumes and designer accessories, to great toys, gadgets and high tech goodies.
Of course, your trip won’t be complete without a visit to Santa’s Grotto, so make sure to pay a visit to the big bearded fellow, in his own special Snow Factory. He’ll be residing in Westfield throughout the festive season, with a pop up snow chamber, where you can greet him and take a special family photo, as well as enjoy the chance to make your own personalised snowflake to take away.
After the special experience, you can relax and unwind in some of the great restaurants and cafés in the shopping centre. With plenty of delicious treats to enjoy, including tempting slices of pizza, refreshing drinks and a warming festive hot drink, you’ll find everything you need for the Christmas season, cosily located under one roof.